Dealing with insurance adjusters doesn’t have to be difficult. After an accident, you will need to report the incident to your insurance company and/or the other party’s insurance company. You will probably need to communicate with the adjuster several times before your claim is finalized. The best way to handle matters is to be courteous and respectful, but to demonstrate resolve and knowledge of your rights, and be prepared to prove your case.
What do I say when dealing with the insurance adjuster?
The insurance adjuster’s job will be to research your accident, identify fault, tally damages, and determine how much money you are entitled to under your policy.
When you call, provide basic information about the accident, including the date, time, and location of the crash, as well as any information you know about the other driver. While it is true that insurance companies make more money by paying claimants less, most will treat you fairly if you are courteous and well prepared with evidence that proves your claim.
When dealing with the insurance adjuster, they might ask you to provide a recorded statement. It is crucial to be very mindful of what you say. Many accident victims run into problems at this point because they inadvertently make admissions of fault (even when they are not actually at fault) or minimize the extent of their injuries. For example, insurance adjusters may take offhanded statements such as, “I hurt my back, but it’s not that bad,” to later argue that your injuries are not serious. Even making polite statements such as, “I’m sorry this happened,” can be twisted and used as an admission of fault.
When you’re dealing with insurance adjusters, it is okay to say that you want to seek out medical treatment and speak to your attorney first, and that you would like to call again at a later time. This lets the adjuster know you are serious about your claim and are in no rush to settle prematurely. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the statement or work with the insurance company on your behalf so you do not accidentally do or say something detrimental to your claim.
How can I ensure the adjuster will fairly compensate me?
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to speed along the claims process to get you to settle early, before the full extent of your injuries has manifested. Also, do not be surprised if the adjuster offers you a much lower settlement than what your claim is actually worth. You do not have to accept the first offer if it is not fair. Make no mistake, dealing with insurance adjusters is perfectly acceptable. (Actually, it is preferable.)
The best way to ensure you are fairly compensated is to have solid evidence and documentation that proves your damages. Start collecting the following.
- Medical records
- Diagnostic tests
- Doctors’ notes
- Proof of lost wages
In fact, continue to gather every shred of paper related to your accident and your injuries in a file for safekeeping until your case resolves.
What if my claim is denied or I run into problems?
If fault is disputed, you have problems getting a fair settlement offer, or your claim is denied, seek help from a local accident attorney. Your attorney can help you deal with the insurance adjuster, help you compile the evidence necessary to support your claim, and even appeal the denial and take the case to court.
For help from an accident attorney who handles claims in Kansas City, Missouri, call Krause & Kinsman. Our team knows how to deal with insurance adjusters and maximize our clients’ recovery. We offer free consultations and can work with you at your convenience. Contact us today at 816-200-2900.